The group, comprising over 75 third year students accompanied by some registered chiropractors, is running the free clinic at the Te Atukura grounds (Office of the Prime Minister) and Titikaveka CICC church hall from 9am to 1pm and 3pm to 5pm.
The group has been coming to the Cook Islands annually since their first trip in 2007 and as of last year, the group had attended to over 3600 cases.
New Zealand College of Chiropractic president Dr Phil McMaster said the trip was a “win-win” situation for both the students and the people of the Cook Islands.
“These students have done their third year out of four with us, but it’s a five-year degree. They have just qualified to start checking public patients. We bring them over here so they get to experience it firsthand and of course, the Cook Islands benefit,” Dr McMaster said.
“Our students get a lot of learning from this. They are all supervised by the registered chiropractors.”
The first batch of students will depart Rarotonga this Saturday, with a new group arriving on Sunday. They will stay on the island for a week, running the free clinic.
“The whole emphasis here is if your spine and nerve system are not working together well, your whole body doesn’t function well. It’s not just about treating conditions or symptoms, it’s actually more about trying to get someone’s brain and the body connection working better because if your spine is not working right, it interferes with message transfer,” Dr McMaster said.
“These students’ first task is to educate the people, telling them what they do and why they do it.
“Then they do a thorough examination of the spine and the nerve system and in some cases, if indicated, we get them to do other regional exams. As long as everything is clear, we will check the spines and adjust them using our hands to clear up the interferences with the messages.”
Dr McMaster said the group had attended to patients of all age, including a seven-week-old baby.
He said they also had a good number of 80 to 90-year-old patients turning up to take advantage of the free clinic.
“Even childbirth can be pretty traumatic on a baby’s head and neck. It’s a good idea to check them early to make sure there is no problem there and they can develop better,” he said.
“We have 80-90 year olds with years and years of degeneration in their spines and joints and yet they can also benefit from chiropractic adjustments in terms of freeing up the body’s ability to do what it should do.”
Dr McMaster said most of the patients they had attended to here had chronic degenerative problems.
“The whole time we have been coming here, we haven’t found anybody who we haven’t been able to check and adjust, because chiropractic care is safe for anyone as long as we are pretty familiar with what’s going on.”
Dr McMaster said Rarotonga provided the students with patients from a diverse range of age and conditions, which served as a good platform for them to start their clinical career with.
Titikaveka CICC Church Hall and Te Atukura Grounds (PM Office) – Tomorrow 9am to 1pm and 3pm to 5pm, Friday 9am to 1pm and 3pm and 5pm; Saturday 9am to 12pm (at Te Atukura grounds only); Titikaveka CICC church hall and Te Atukura Grounds (PM’s Office) – Monday, July 2 9am to 1pm and 3pm to 5pm, Tuesday, July 3 9am to 1pm and 3pm to 5pm, Wednesday, July 4 9am to 1pm and 3pm to 5pm, Thursday, July 5 9am to 1pm and 3pm to 5pm, Saturday, July 7 9am to 12pm (Te Atukura grounds only)